American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1536-7150
Print ISSN: 0002-9246
Publications
Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (or TRAP) laws impose medically unnecessary and burdensome regulations solely on abortion providers in order to make abortion services more expensive and difficult to obtain. Using event history analysis, this article examines the determinants of the enactment of a TRAP law by states over the period 1974–2008. The empirical results find that Republican institutional control of a state's legislative/executive branches is positively associated with a state enacting a TRAP law, while Democratic institutional control is negatively associated with a state enacting a TRAP law. The percentage of a state's population that is Catholic, public anti-abortion attitudes, state political ideology, and the abortion rate in a state are statistically insignificant predictors of a state enacting a TRAP law. The empirical results are consistent with the hypothesis that abortion is a redistributive issue and not a morality issue.
 
Although it is still impossible to place a dollar value on human lives and on the total health effects of air pollution, the excessive mortality costs of two air pollutants - sulfur dioxide (SOâ) and total suspended particulates (TSP) - are quantified here for most of the 40 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States. Based on 1970 data, total mortality damage for SOâ was estimated at $887 million and for TSP at $1.044 billion. The benefit from reducing these pollutants could exceed $1.328 billion annually, a figure useful in evaluating control costs.
 
This article examines the preferences of the general public in Australia regarding health care resource allocation. While previous studies have revealed that the public is willing to give priority to particular groups of patients based on their personal characteristics, the present article goes beyond previous efforts in attempting to explain these results. In the present study, there was strong support among respondents for giving “equal priority” to people regardless of their personal characteristics. However, respondents did reveal a preference for married patients over single, for children over adults, for carers of children and the elderly, sole breadwinners, and good community contributors. Further, they would give a lower priority to those perceived as “self-harmers”—smokers, individuals with unhealthy diets, and those who rarely exercise. Variation in the answers according to broad economic and social beliefs across seven different categories (“factors”) influenced the pattern of the public's attitudes towards rationing. The Principal Components Analysis (PCA) indicated that most of the items in our survey are associated with seven factors that explain or capture much of the variation. These relate to a patient's avoidance of self-harm behaviors (Safe Living), their Life Style (diet, exercise, etc.), their contribution to the community through caring for others (Caring), their talents (Gifted), their sexual behavior (Sexuality), their age and marital status (Family), and whether they are an Australian citizen or employed (Citizen). The strength of social preferences—e.g., how strongly respondents would “discriminate” against a recreational drug user or preference a person with a healthy diet—is related to the particular class of preferences.
 
In the San Francisco Bay Area, where residential rent is among the highest in the United States, an analysis of data from several sources demonstrates that high rent cannot be accounted for by higher quality, higher operating costs, or higher construction costs. At least one-third of the total rent paid is land rent. Despite increases in real incomes, very-low-income tenants in the Bay Area today have less income remaining after payment of rent than tenants did in 1960. High land rent is a long-term feature of the Bay Area rental market that results mostly from its geography, the density of its urban centers, and a strong economy, rather than from regulatory barriers to new multifamily construction. Deregulation is not a sufficient response to the effects of land rent on low-income tenants. Government should subsidize non-profit housing organizations, particularly land trusts that remove residential land from the market. Taxes on land rent would be a particularly appropriate funding source.
 
Experiences of winning (n = 420) 1
This article discusses how large lottery winnings are experienced and used by the winners. The study draws on a survey of 420 Swedish winners, which is analyzed against the background of previous research from the USA and Europe. The analyses show that winners are cautious about realizing any dreams of becoming someone else somewhere else. This result contradicts theories suggesting that identities are being liquefied by the commercially driven consumer culture in affluent Western societies. In contrast, the article concludes that winners generally try to stay much the same, but on a somewhat higher level of consumption. The critical situation that large winnings produce is generally met by an attempt to hold on to one's identity and social relations. In addition, the article shows that lump sum winners tend to save and invest large parts of their winnings, compared with winners of monthly installments who are more likely to spend on leisure and consumption. These results indicate that “wild” lump sums make winners “tame” their winnings more firmly, whereas “domesticated” monthly instalments can be spent more thoughtlessly without changing identity or becoming an unfortunate winner.
 
From Rice Vaughan, 1675: “The first Invention of Money was for a Pledge and instead of a Surety” to John Maynard Keynes, 1937: “Our desire to hold money as a store of wealth is a barometer of the degree of our distrust” there is a tradition of monetary theory linking the demand for money with the state of confidence. In the early nineteenth century, Henry Thornton and Thomas Attwood analyzed the shifts in precautionary demand for money and their implications for money supply, production, employment, and the balance of payments. The tradition was interrupted during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and was subsequently revived by Keynes's General Theory.
 
A five equation model was developed which related measurements of quality of life (QOL) to policy variables and to economic and social characteristics. The model was used to i) determine the jointness, or interdependency, of components of QOL, ii) demonstrate the usefulness of canonical correlation for measuring the marginal products of determinants of QOL, and iii) construct QOL indexes of social indicators. The model's parameters were estimated from state data for the U.S.A. Among the determinants of QOL educational attainment, investments in transportation facilities, region size and urbanization were most important. Expenditures on higher education, health care, and law enforcement had very little effect on socio-economic well being. Most of the differences in QOL between states were due to economic factors.
 
Using a permanent income hypothesis approach and an income-giving status interaction effect, a double hurdle model provides evidence of significant differences from the impact of household income and various household characteristics on both a household's likelihood of giving and its level of giving to religion, charity, education, others outside the household, and politics. An analysis of resulting income elasticity estimates revealed that households consider religious giving a necessity good at all levels of income, while other categories of giving are generally found to be luxury goods. Further, those who gave to religion were found to give more to education and charity then those not giving to religion, and higher education households were more likely to give to religion than households with less education. This analysis suggests that there may be more to religious giving behavior than has been assumed in prior studies and underscores the need for further research into the motivation for religious giving. Specifically, these findings point to an enduring, internal motivation for giving rather than an external, “What do I get for what I give,” motive.
 
The neoliberal consensus is that state funded pensions are not sustainable in the long term, due to declining fertility and longevity. In response, policymakers have pointed to the advantages of privately funded pension systems. This article compares the social provisioning of these two systems using the circular flow of income as an organizing framework. A series of pitfalls in the private model are examined, including inequality of provision, mis-selling of investment products, and punitive charges.
 
Evidence of the importance of urban agglomeration and the offsetting effects of congestion are provided in a number of studies of productivity and wages. Little attention has been paid to this evidence in the economic growth literature, where the recent focus is on technological change. We extend the idea of agglomeration and congestion effects to the area of innovation by empirically looking for a nonlinear link between population density and patent activity. A panel data set consisting of observations on 302 USA metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) over a 10-year period from 1990 to 1999 is utilized. Following the patent and R&D literature, models that account for the discreet nature of the dependent variable are employed. Strong evidence is found that agglomeration and congestion are important in explaining the vast differences in patent rates across US cities. The most important reason cities continue to exist, given the dramatic drop in transportation costs for physical goods over the last century, is probably related to the forces of agglomeration as they apply to knowledge spillovers. Therefore, the empirical investigation proposed here is an important part of understanding the viability of urban areas in the future.
 
Across the nation, nonprofit organizations located in poor and declining neighborhoods are promoting homeownership in the hopes that their efforts will stave off decline and contribute to neighborhood stability. A common homeownership strategy among nonprofits is to acquire boarded-up or deteriorated homes at a low price, rehabilitate them, and then sell them at an affordable price. As these programs continue, nonprofit organizations want to show quantitatively that neighborhood revitalization works—that the funds devoted to an area stabilize neighborhoods or, even more, that they initiate a surge of continued upward progress. But, unlike their larger counterparts, smaller community development organizations are usually at a disadvantage in undertaking such an evaluation. This study will help illustrate what might be done. It focuses on the case of St. Joseph's Carpenter Society (SJCS) in Camden, New Jersey and assesses the quantitative impact that SJCS has on its target neighborhoods. A three-tiered approach is adopted that ranges from a target and comparison area analysis, to regression analysis of SJCS's impact on local housing prices, and finally to an examination of the relative market performance of SJCS's houses. All told, the analysis suggests that SJCS's rehabilitation and homeownership education activities appear to have a positive influence on the neighborhoods in its target area.
 
This article explores the profoundly gendered nature of the split between the disciplines of economics and sociology that took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, emphasizing implications for current efforts to bring the fields more closely together. Drawing on historical documents and feminist studies of science, it investigates the gendered processes underlying the divergence of the disciplines in definition, method, and degree of engagement with social problems. The recently developed field of economic sociology and other efforts to bridge the disciplinary gap have the potential to heal this disciplinary split, if they are broadened, deepened, and made wiser and more self-reflective through the use of feminist analysis.
 
How might free enterprise have dealt with Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath. This article probes this question at increasing levels of radicalization, starting with the privatization of several government “services” and ending with the privatization of all of them.
 
Throughout the past 30 years, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the proliferation of new forms of health care delivery organizations that challenge and compete with general NFP community hospitals. Traditionally, the health care system in the United States has been dominated by general NFP (NFP) voluntary hospitals. With the number of for-profit general hospitals, physician-owned specialty hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers increasing, a question arises: “Why is the general NFP community hospital the dominant model?” In order to address this question, this paper reexamines the history of the hospital industry. By understanding how the “general NFP hospital” model emerged and dominated, we attempt to explain the current dominance of general NFP hospitals in the ever changing hospital industry in the United States.
 
Pharmaceutical firms attribute high prices and high profits to costs associated with researching and developing the next generation of life-saving drugs. Using data from annual reports, this article tests the validity of this claim. We find that while pharmaceutical firms do invest in R&D, they also enjoy strong rents; between 1988 and 2009, pharmaceuticals enjoyed profits of 3 to 37 times the all-industry average, depending on the years, while investing proportionately less in R&D than other high-R&D firms. Costs of pharmaceutical drugs have successfully flown below the radar in much of the current health care debate, with producers managing to obstruct alternative sourcing as well as payment cuts. While health care is examined for savings in other areas, sustained high pharmaceutical profits suggest that as a new health care policy develops in the U.S., the pharmaceutical industry should not be excluded from examination for significant savings in health care costs.
 
This essay is reprinted from Eatwell, J., M. Milgate and P. Newman (eds.) "The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics". 1987, 2: 369-376. United Kingdom, London and Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press Limited; New York, N.Y. The Stockton Press and Japan, Maruzen Company Limited. The essay is reproduced with the kind permission of Palgrave Macmillan. Copyright 2005 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
Irving Fisher's Ph.D. thesis, submitted to Yale University in 1891, contains a fully articulated general equilibrium model presented with the broad scope and formal mathematical clarity associated with Walras and his successors. In addition, Fisher presents a remarkable hydraulic apparatus for calculating equilibrium prices and the resulting distribution of society's endowments among the agents in the economy. In this paper we provide an analytical description of Fisher's apparatus, and report the results of simulating the mechanical/hydraulic "machine," illustrating the ability of the apparatus to "compute" equilibrium prices and also to find multiple equilibria.
 
Economics should be built upon a sociological foundation, believed John R. Commons. While pursuing this conviction his chair in sociology was terminated in 1899. From then until 1904, exiled from academia, he investigated afield for the U.S. Industrial Commission and the U.S. Bureau of Labor and participated in the National Civic Federation, amassing first-hand knowledge of conflict resolution arranged by capitalists' "combinations" and by labor unions' bargaining with employers. These experiences inspired ideas concerning sociology and economics and beliefs that public policy should turn away from antitrust law and instead attempt to create counterbalancing power in the economic system. He published his ideas in various journals and magazines, and in nearly three dozen unsigned editorials in "The Independent". This essay critically examines his thought during this period that he brought with him when he began the work based in Wisconsin that would carry him to fame. Copyright 2002 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
At the end of the 19-super-th century, Georges Vacher de Lapouge and Otto Ammon founded a school of thought denominated "social anthropology" or "anthropo-sociology," aimed at placing racism on a scientific basis. Their intent was to create a new discipline into which the themes of biological heredity, natural selection, social stratification, and political organization were to converge. This paper intends to demonstrate the wide resonance that anthroposociology had in the economic literature, analyzing the thought of authors such as Carlos C. Closson, Vilfredo Pareto, and Thorstein Veblen. A particular focus will be on the racial and eugenic arguments used as explanation of social and economic inequality. Copyright © 2008 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
Corden, M., Duesenberry, J. S., Goodwin, C. D., Hynes, J. A., Lipsey, R. G., Rosenbluth, G., Samuelson, P. A. and Simpson, E. J. (2001), Harry G. Johnson (1923–1977): Scholar, Mentor, Editor, and Relentless World Traveler. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 60: 601–649.
 
Adolph Lowe and his mentor Franz Oppenheimer were founding members of the Editorial Board of the "The American Journal of Economics and Sociology" in 1941. Both this journal's name and its mission were inspired by Lowe's greatly underappreciated 1935 book, "Economics and Sociology". There, Lowe issued his "plea for cooperation" and "constructive synthesis" in the social sciences. Lowe was committed to interdisciplinary teaching and research for the entirety of his long and interesting career. When celebrating the 50th anniversary of the "Journal", it is worthwhile to recall Lowe's enduring contributions. His expression "constructive synthesis" still remains part of the mission of the "AJES" as inscribed on the back cover of the journal itself. Copyright 2002 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
Native Americans suffer some of the highest rates of poverty and unemployment and the lowest rates of human capital attainment among racial minority groups in the United States, but economists understand very little about the impact these conditions have on the migration patterns of Native Americans. In 1994, a seminal article on this topic appeared in this journal (Cebula and Belton 1994). In their article, the authors suggest that the low levels of human capital and poor conditions in Native American reservations should make Native American migration sensitive to interstate differences in AFDC spending levels. Their hypothesis is confirmed for Native American migration over the 1985-1990 period. This paper refines their analysis by using micro-level rather than aggregate data, and by controlling for reservation residence and the impact of informal social safety nets in the source region. It is found that human capital factors and expected wage differences overwhelm interstate differences in public welfare spending and that informal safety nets in the source region dampen off-reservation migration. These findings suggest that state AFDC spending levels cannot explain contemporary Native American migration patterns. Copyright 2001 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
 
Employment stability for many nonstandard workers is tenuous and early research shows some types of nonstandard employment carry long-term consequences in the form of lower wages and fewer benefits over time. This paper seeks to add to the literature by considering another long-term consequence for nonstandard workers: the inability of some nonstandard workers to accumulate assets. The particular asset this paper focuses on is home ownership. Logistic regression results using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 suggest that current and past employment in some nonstandard jobs, especially as a temporary worker, is associated with a lower probability of owning a home. This may have repercussions not only for households with temporary workers but for their community as well, since home ownership has been tied to positive spillovers such as increased social capital and community involvement. Copyright 2004 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
This comment is part of a symposium on Ekkehart Schlicht, "On Custom in the Economy" (1998) Copyright 2002 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
 
This paper shows that a state's abortion policy is determined by the strength of interest advocacy groups and political forces. The greater the membership in the National Abortion Rights Action League, the percentage of female state legislators and the percentage of Democratic female legislators, the less restrictive a state's abortion policy. The greater a state's population that are Roman Catholics, the more restrictive a state's abortion policy. The paper also estimates the impact abortion restrictions have on a state's abortion rate. The empirical results show that abortion restrictions have no statistically significant impact on a state's abortion rate. A state's abortion restrictions do not significantly increase out-of-state abortions. Copyright 2002 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
 
Controlling for SAT scores, college major, gender, and state of residence, university students were more likely to have joined a fraternity or sorority if they had come from in state and had higher verbal SAT scores, but lower math SAT scores, the opposite of what simple uncontrolled averages indicate. Controlling for the same variables, fraternity and sorority members suffered from 1 to 10 percent lower cumulative GPAs than non-Greek students. This negative effect was most pronounced for small fraternities and weakest for sororities. Copyright 2006 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
Using the PSID Child Development Supplement (CDS) and the corresponding PSID main data sets, we examine whether home ownership has positive effects on the academic achievement of children after correcting for selectivity bias and controlling for home environment, neighborhood quality, residential stability, and income. While we find no independent effects of home ownership, there are positive significant effects of home environment, neighborhood quality, and residential stability on the reading and math performance of children between the ages of three and twelve. The main policy implication of our study is that improvement of a child's home environment, residential stability, and the quality of the neighborhood is more important than ownership of a home to achieve better child outcomes. Subsidized home ownership can lead to better child outcomes to the extent that it places a child in a better home environment, in a more stable residence, and in a better neighborhood. Copyright © 2009 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
Repeatedly throughout his career, and especially when giving special invited lectures to national gatherings of economists, Harry Johnson reexamined the impact of Keynes's "General Theory" and its parallels with the revival of the quantity theory of money. This paper explores Johnson's changing view of the recent history of macroeconomics and particularly of the Keynesian Revolution, a term that he found problematic. Copyright 2001 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
 
Notional defined contribution (NDC) accounts represent a new model for social security reform that so far has been adopted in seven countries. While NDC schemes remain public, they call for the individual accounts favored by neoliberal policy analysts. NDC schemes would address many of the demographic and fiscal problems threatening pension systems but, depending on the country, could do so in a way that puts low-paid workers and women at greater risk than do the schemes being replaced. NDC systems are often the result of a compromise between different interest groups, typically between neoliberal economic elites on the right and labor unions or pensioners' organizations on the left. Copyright 2005 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
Social capital refers to norms and networks of reciprocity, trust, and cooperation that facilitate coordinated action for a mutual benefit. Theoretical and empirical studies have documented the positive contribution of social capital in social welfare and development. This study empirically explores the determinants of social capital, in the form of group membership, across European countries. Data is derived from the European Community Household Panel, which covers a large sample of individuals from a set of European countries. Binary logistic regression models are applied to regress an index of individuals' group membership on a set of individual characteristics (income, education, gender, age, marital status, employment), as well as aggregate characteristics of countries (GDP per capita, income inequality, social trust, trust in public institutions, corruption, unemployment, and violation of political and civil rights). Results provide evidence of the impact of both individual and aggregate factors on group membership. These factors constitute a possible means to rebuilding patterns of social capital, especially in Southern European countries, where special-interest groups and patron-client relations prevail over generalized norms and networks of reciprocity, trust, and cooperation that promote wider social welfare and development objectives.
 
We explore the consequences for eligibility of members of subaltern groups for affirmative action (AA), when AA policies are based on social class criteria rather than on group affiliation (race, ethnicity, or gender), by means of a general model with simplifying assumptions. The model is developed first for the case where everyone eligible for AA becomes a beneficiary, and then for the case where beneficiaries are only those eligibles who are able to meet minimum qualification requirements for the positions at issue—an ability that is (reasonably) assumed to be correlated with socioeconomic status. The model demonstrates that class-based affirmative action cannot provide as many subaltern‐group beneficiaries as group‐based affirmative action, especially when access to the desired positions hinges on performance qualifications. Data on AA‐targeted subaltern groups in rural India and in the United States are used to illustrate the conclusions of the model.
 
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 are designed to protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. These two laws have had a major impact on public schools, their offerings of services, and their budgets. The purpose of the present study is to determine if passage of the ADA in 1990 has resulted in a statistically significant increase in per-student public education expenditures at the state level. Although numerous studies have estimated educational cost functions, no prior study has examined the impact of the ADA on per-capita educational spending. Results of the present study indicate that the ADA increased per-student educational spending at the state level, but by less than 2 percent. By way of comparison, Rothstein and Miles (1995 ) noted in their study that desegregation added 4.1 percent to per-pupil spending and bilingual education added 3.9 percent. Copyright 2007 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
The full implications of the problem of the death of addicts have been ignored in the economic analysis of policy toward drugs. This article argues that drug dealers can, in theory, play an important role in sustaining the lives of addicts. This needs to be taken into account in policy enforcement and could lead to some radical changes to conventional policy proposals. Copyright 2006 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
By utilizing the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) and a measure of occupational prestige (OCCSCORE) as a labor market outcome, the authors examine variations in the degree of labor market discrimination faced by several ethnic and racial groups in the United States between 1880 and 1990. Results demonstrate that the sharpest decline in labor market discrimination against blacks occurred between 1960 and 1980. For black males the extent of labor market discrimination was greater in all census years in IPUMS after 1880 until 1970, evidence contradicting the conventional expectation that market-based discrimination will decline progressively over time by dint of competitive pressure. Finally, after replicating George Borjas' "ethnic capital" exercise, the authors pool the 1880, 1900, and 1910 data to determine the relative magnitude of a group's gains and losses in occupational prestige due to group advantage or disadvantage in human capital endowments and due to favorable or unfavorable treatment (nepotism or discrimination) of those endowments in the labor market. The authors then examine statistically whether the group human capital advantage or disadvantage and group exposure to nepotism or discrimination at the turn of the century affects labor market outcomes for their descendants today. Results indicate strong effects of the past on present labor market outcomes. Hence, the essence of the study is the statistical demonstration that there are significant and detectable effects on current generations of the labor market experiences of their racial/ethnic ancestors. Copyright 2001 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
 
Many observers of the media argue that advertiser support of the news insulates business from critical scrutiny. News organizations know better than to bite the hand that feeds them. I examine several weaknesses in this corporate advertising bias argument. Most significantly, a favorable political climate for business is a public good, so individual businesses have an incentive to support anti-business messages that generate an audience. Transmission of messages that fail to generate sufficient demand is inefficient. In short, advertising does not create a significant political bias. Copyright 2002 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
 
Ludwig von Mises is often regarded as a "champion" of laissez faire. This characterization seems to contradict Mises's clear statement that economics is value free. The aim of this paper is to resolve this apparent contradiction. We accomplish this by distinguishing, as Mises did, between the advocacy of specific laissez-faire policies and the advocacy of a laissez-faire ideology vis-à-vis the alternative ideologies of socialism and interventionism. Mises argued that the logic of a value-free economics could be used to show that socialist and interventionist policies would not achieve a goal that the socialists and interventionists implicitly or explicitly aim to achieve, that of progress in terms of material wealth for the members of society. Thus, Mises resolved the contradiction by shifting the debate from the welfare analysis of particular policies to a logical analysis of the ends of a particular ideology and the means available to achieve those ends. Copyright 2005 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
People often suppose or imply that free-market economists constitute a significant portion of all economists. We surveyed American Economic Association members and asked their views on 18 specific forms of government activism. We find that about 8 percent of AEA members can be considered supporters of free-market principles, and that less than 3 percent may be called strong supporters. The data are broken down by voting behavior (Democratic or Republican). Even the average Republican AEA member is "middle-of-the-road," not free-market. We offer several possible explanations of the apparent difference between actual and attributed views. Copyright 2007 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
The 20-super-th-century American economics profession and its leading professional organization-the American Economic Association (AEA)-were privileged and shaped by the federal government's need to direct resources and to call on experts. Bureaucratic tendencies to classify and count had an impact on the discipline's self-concept, the articulation of subdisciplines, and the establishment of multiple research agendas. They also powerfully framed the strategies for growth and development formulated and deployed by the AEA itself. A consensus of professional opinion and the standardization of curriculums emerged out of the involvement of economists and the AEA with governmental affairs. At the same time, such public engagement was fraught with risks and contradictions-posing challenges and difficulties with which the AEA and the profession would have to contend for decades to come. Copyright © 2008 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..
 
Labor's Share and Union Density
Impact of Declines in Unionization on Labor's Share
Actual and Predicted Values of Labor's Share (LS1)
There have been a number of studies analyzing the impact of unions on labor's share of income. Most have relied on either time series or cross-section data. The purpose of this paper is to determine the impact of unions on labor's share of income in the U.S. This study adds to the understanding of this topic by developing an analytical model of imperfect competition and estimating the model using panel data for the manufacturing sector. This study finds that unions have a positive impact on labor's share of income. Specifically, this paper finds that labor's share declined 17.9 percent between 1997 and 2006 whereas, if unionization density had remained at its 1997 level, labor's share would have declined only 13.9 percent. Thus, the decline in unionization explains about 29 percent of the decline in labor's share of income. This paper is important for three reasons. First, this paper sheds light on whether social and institutional forces play an important role in determining the distribution of income between labor and capital. Second, it helps to explain recent increases in wage inequality. Third, it has implications for understanding the potential impact of legislation, such as the Employee Free Choice Act, that would make it easier for workers in the U.S. to unionize.
 
This study empirically identifies both the economic and political determinants of the public's dissatisfaction with government in the United States. Using annual survey data on the public's dissatisfaction with government obtained for the years 1965-1996, it is found that the Vietnam War, Watergate, oil price shocks and higher federal marginal income tax rates resulted in elevated levels of the public's dissatisfaction with government, whereas increases in housing prices and a rising Dow Jones industrial average reduced the public's dissatisfaction with the government. Copyright 2002 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
 
For over 75 years housing cooperatives have been a source of affordable housing. Currently, the 376,000 dwelling units of affordable cooperatives is equivalent to seventeen percent of the rent reduction units owned by publichousing authorities. Understanding that affordable cooperatives have been developed under varying historical circumstances provides insights on how they could play a role in the future supply of affordable housing. The history of affordable co-ops starts during the 1920s and after World War II with the ethnic, union, and New York government financed co-ops. Through the 1960s and the early 1970s cooperatives were financed by various federal direct assistance programs. Since the late 1970s co-ops have been sponsored by nonprofit organizations and by federal and municipal government privatization programs. A workable institutional structure for affordable cooperatives has developed as a result of this historical evolution.
 
The study examines the differential roles of various elite political instability (PI) events-successful coups d'etat, abortive coups, or coup plots-in the growth of Sub-Saharan Africa. It analyzes World Bank economic statistics and data on the incidence of coups d'etat for 31 countries in a cross-country augmented production function framework that incorporates PI events as well as labor and capital as arguments. It finds that abortive coups, rather than successful coups, had the greatest adverse impact on economic growth over the 1960-1986 period. Coup plots were also observed to be growth-inhibiting. This deleterious "direct" effect of PI is observed to be channeled via the deterioration in the marginal productivity of capital, regardless of coup event. While abortive coups negatively influenced economic growth monotonically, however, the impacts of successful coups and coup plots appeared to be non-monotonic: negative generally but positive at very low levels of investment. Copyright 2002 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
 
Top-cited authors
Peter Boettke
  • George Mason University
Christopher Coyne
  • George Mason University
Richard J. Cebula
  • George Mason University
Thomas H. Koenig
  • Northeastern University
Barry Smith
  • University at Buffalo, The State University of New York